Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). It is situated on the Lena River. Yakutsk was first reached by Russians when the Cossack Peter Beketov approached the area from the upper reaches of the great Siberian river Lena with a detachment of thirty people. In 1632, he established a small fort on the eastern bank of the Lena and called it Lensky. When the site proved subject to flooding and undermining from the Lena, a new site across the river was chosen in 1643. The new ostrog (fort) was called Yakutsk, and became the capital and trade center for the district. The first one-story brick house was built in Yakutsk in 1707. It was the office of the Voevoda, or Governor. The second brick house was the Troitsky Cathedral, founded in1708. This cathedral later became a theater.
Presently, Yakutsk is an administrative, scientific and cultural center. The city is 8468 km away from Moscow and 826 km from the nearest railroad. The population is over 200,000 people. Yakutsk is also a center of science and education. The research institutes are mainly involved in the study of geography, ecology, agriculture, industry and economics of the Sakha Republic, language, history and traditions of the Sakha and other peoples of the North.
Yakutia’s museums are devoted to the history, traditions and customs of peoples of Yakutia. One can find there historical documents, photographs, books, manuscripts, works of art and personal belongings of famous people.
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